Is Balancing Complex Retail and CPG Supply Chains a Total Fantasy?
Recent events have illustrated the fragility of ultra-lean supply chains. Chief Supply Chain Officers must figure out how to navigate these crises to manage costs, speed & quality of service.
Recent events have more than illustrated the fragility of ultra-lean supply chains. Global haulage driver shortages, Brexit implications, and the various impacts of COVID have created the perfect storm. This is further accentuated by the rapidly changing patterns of consumer behaviour, which combine a desire for instant gratification, with an increased concern over the ethical and sustainable impacts of shopping. Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) must somehow balance all these demands in an effort to manage costs, speed and quality of service.
Some faced with the disruption of the past few months, may reach the conclusion that maintaining this balance in today’s complex, fast-moving environment is a fantasy, and that increased costs creeping back into the supply chain is an inevitability. Teradata can, however, help CSCOs avoid this, while maintaining the critical balance across all supply chain characteristics.
Visibility Across Silos
Visibility is central to overall supply chain success. To make the right business decisions in a timely manner it’s essential to know, at a granular level, not just the location of goods, but everything related to those goods and their movement. However, today’s complex, multi-party, global supply chains make it almost impossible to manually maintain a single view across all the data that exists around a product. Over time, silos build up within organisations, functions and geographies, leading to that silo inadvertently focussing on its own needs, rather than on what’s most important to the end customer.
Although there are many applications out there that automate and streamline different aspects of the supply chain to help make improvements, these tend to focus on specific functions such as transport management, warehouse management or demand forecasting. They are effective and add value, but further extenuate the challenge as they also operate within silos, and thereby don’t support the goal of overall visibility.
At Teradata, we know how hard it is to remove these silos – as they are deeply embedded aspects of overall management and organisational structures. What if you could resolve the challenge/opportunity though, by providing an integrated data hub that enables retail and CPG organisations to leverage all the data from every single silo? This would facilitate each silo to operate in the context of all the other silos, and hence the overall supply chain. With Teradata, companies can combine data at massive scale and in near real-time to not only make accurate up-to-the-minute operational decisions, but to also leverage that data to enhance the more strategic aspects of a dynamic supply chain such as network design, sourcing and scenario planning.
Avoiding the Balloon Effect
Decisions within supply chains often fall foul of the ‘balloon effect;’ squeezing performance in one characteristic, or in one function, that simply leads to bulging costs, inefficiencies or quality deterioration in another. By connecting data from every silo, Teradata can help retail and CPG businesses by delivering end-to-end visibility, providing not only the data but the context of every data element. Furthermore, integrating this data and providing a variety of lenses through which the different parts of the business can view that same data, allows CSCOs to model the holistic ramifications of any decisions, and so minimise the balloon effect. This single source of integrated data provides the foundation for the automation of entire supply-chain processes, rather than creating islands of automation that can work against each other.
Your data foundation will then be able to support a range of capabilities, helping you better manage the types of supply chain disruptions that we’ve seen over the past months. With integrated data at scale, retailers and CPG’s will be able to understand in real-time exactly how their entire supply chain is working. Automation can then deliver intelligent alerts to highlight when interventions are needed for the good of the overall business, and recommend resolution options based on pre-defined business priorities. This approach eliminates the noise generated from constant churn at each node, in turn reducing the associated disruption. This same granular, real-time operational data can also be analysed to create powerful new predictive analytical capabilities, providing early warnings of arising issues, and hence a longer window to develop the appropriate response to them.
Retailers & CPGs rely on Teradata
Teradata’s integrated data hub approach has additional key benefits for CSCOs. Viewing all the data relating to specific goods movements – not only their location, but the costs, CO2 footprint, performance against plan and against previous time periods - provides insights into potential weak links. CSCOs and their teams can quickly ‘drill-down’ to specific elements within the data and make informed decisions as to how to respond, and what the implications of executing those responses are. They can use the same granular data as a foundation to conduct detailed, accurate scenario planning, resilience stress testing, ‘what-if?’ analysis and other simulations. Thereby building ever-increasing levels of understanding and agility.
Bringing together increasingly diverse data sets that are needed to make sense of today’s complex and dynamic market situation is essential for better, faster, and more informed decision-making. The alternative, manually reconciling data from multiple sources in multiple formats, can quickly occupy most of the CSCOs teams limited resource – not to mention increase the potential for errors or mismatches of data from different silos. A single data platform that acts as a source of consistent data, and which can operate at the massive scale and near-real-time speed of today’s global supply chains is therefore becoming table stakes.
Retailers & CPGs around the world use Teradata’s data & analytics expertise across their organisation’s different functions, and the same platform can be extended to provide much-needed support to the CSCO. Our technology, consultants, developers and data scientists are already working to streamline the most complex supply chains at the leading retailers & CPG’s worldwide. To find out how Teradata can make balancing every element of your supply chain a reality, please email our retail and CPG supply chain specialists.